Runners Nutrition Part 7: Protein

What constitutes good nutrition for runners? Not what to avoid, but what should you focus on eating. We’re wrapping up our runners nutrition series as we’ve covered water, vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, fats and now proteins.

To learn what an endurance athlete needs to eat in order to maximize performance we will focus on two primary objectives:

  • What am I consuming?
  • Why should I consume it?

1. What am I consuming? Protein
Protein contains 9 essential amino acids, without which the body cannot synthesize all the proteins needed for tissues, enzymes and hormones. The quality of protein in a diet is based on how well these essential amino acids are represented. In terms of quality, the best sources of protein are eggs, milk and fish, with good sources being meat, poultry, cheese and soybeans. Fair sources include grains, vegetables, seeds, and nuts and other legumes.

2. Why should I consume it?  Protein
Depending on the timing in an athletes training program, more protein may be needed. For endurance athletes during adaptation to new or increasingly strenuous exercise (e.g. after a hard workout) protein requirements will be higher.

There is a small concern about consuming too much protein in large doses of individual amino acid supplements but not from consuming animal foods.

Runner’s Nutrition Conclusion:
Strive to get what you need for your body to operate optimally, not on what to avoid. Use this guide and remember:

  • a loss of 3%-4% of WATER adversely effects aerobic performance so you must replenish it
  • VITAMINS are necessary for cell activity, iron must be present for adaptation
  • CARBOHYDRATES help energize your body in prep for performance
  • FATS are essential for energy production and iron absorption
  • PROTEIN allows your body to reap the benefits of exercise by rebuilding your muscle tissue



Thanks David Martin for your insight on endurance athlete nutrition and letting us use your research. He told us we could glean and share his information, as we’re working to help you guys run faster.

Better Training for Distance Runners by David Martin

 Exercise Physiology by Powers and Howley 331


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  • By Addy Addison, November 4, 2016 @ 3:17 am

    Protein includes 9 necessary amino acids, devoid of the corpse cannot manufacture every proteins wanted for tissues, enzymes as well as hormones. Reasonable cause pay to have homework done comprises granule, vegetables, kernel, plus nutty with extra legumes.

  • By John Martin, November 10, 2016 @ 5:48 am

    The excellence of protein into go on a diet is stand on how healthy these necessary amino acids be stand for. In conditions of excellence, the greatest foundation of Do my math homework – protein is progeny, exploit and catch fish through high-quality cause creature red meat, fowl, cheese and soybeans.

  1. Runners Nutrition Part 6: Fats - GoGo Running — November 14, 2011 @ 7:03 pm